RENO, Nev. – Kayla Williams scored a career-high 16 points and added a career-high nine boards and Johnna Ward added 13 points and a career-high six assists as the University of Nevada women’s basketball team beat UC Santa Barbara 59-43 Monday night at Lawlor Events Center.
All nine players who played for the Pack scored at least two points and grabbed at least one rebound. As a team Nevada recorded 17 assists on 24 field goals and has not trailed so far this season.
Nevada opened the game on a 10-3 run and took a seven point lead after a pair of free throws from Kayla Williams. The Gauchos cut the lead to four, 10-14, with 10:37 left in the half before the Pack went into halftime leading by eight, 28-20.
Nevada shot 37.9 percent (11-of-29) from the floor in the first half while UC Santa Barbara shot 18.5 percent (5-of-27).
In the second half, the Pack extended its lead to 13 points, 37-24, after two free throws by Marianne Lombardi with 15:20 left in the game. The Guachos trailed by eight after a jumper by Mekia Valentine with 10:26 remaining. The Pack pushed the lead back up and led by 14, 55-41, after a jumper by Amanda Johnson as Nevada went on to post the 59-43 win.
“I am really proud of this great team win,” second-year head coach Jane Albright said. “People asked me how I was going to replace the three starters we lost and I told them with this group of people and that is what we did.”
The Pack finished the game shooting 40 percent (24-of-64) from the floor and 76.9 percent (10-of-13) from the free throw line. The Gauchos ended the game shooting 26 percent (13-of-50) from the floor and 63 percent (17-of-27) from the free throw line. UC Santa Barbara went 0-of-17 for the game from three point range.
Nevada will play at St. Mary’s on Friday at 6 p.m. before returning home on Monday to host Weber State at 7 p.m.